Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Rare Sighting Of A Peacock

This posting is for my faithful fellow blogger, Flighty.  In his blog (https://flightplot.wordpress.com), he has occasionally mentioned the Peacock Butterfly.  In fact, his photograph of one made me familiar with its beautiful wing markings and made me wish that I would some day see one.  This was very unlikely because it is a European butterfly and, as far as I knew, was not to be found in North America.

Well ...

In late July I was strolling through the Montreal Botanical Gardens looking for anything to photograph and I came to a bush with lovely purple flowers with butterflies fluttering in large numbers all over it!  I saw Painted Lady butterflies and Red Admiral butterflies and then I noticed something unusual. I went in close and saw to my astonishment, the butterfly that Flighty has blogged about! It was gorgeous.  

In getting photographs I stalked this poor creature to the point that it finally perched high up in a tree and I'm sure it was giving me a stern butterfly glare!

After doing some reading on-line I have since found out that an individual Peacock butterfly was first recorded in the Montreal area in 1997 and, in the twenty years hence, less than two dozen have been recorded in eastern Canada.

Here is an interesting article: http://m.espacepourlavie.ca/blogue/en/a-european-butterfly-quebec

Thank you Flighty for introducing me to this beautiful butterfly and thus making my sighting all the more exciting!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I found my heart!

If you recall, I wrote a post in April of last year in which I mourned the loss of a heart-shaped stone which my Dad had given me several years ago:  http://dorispotter.blogspot.ca/2016/04/losing-my-heart.html

Well, I am very happy to say that I have found it! It was in my purse all this time (but deep within a zippered pocket).  I really don't know how I didn't find it when I was searching everywhere - including my purse (where I had originally put it)!

The unusual thing is that I had had a very interesting conversation with an artist/photographer earlier that day and she is known for "seeing" hearts in nature (for example, the way tree branches arc together).  

In fact, she showed me a beautiful image she captured of her reflection in a heart-shaped puddle and a series of photographs of a candle flame in which there is a clear image of a red heart at the center of the flame.  That very night I happened to go to my purse to retrieve earrings I had put in the pocket and lo and behold pulled out my precious stone heart!

I am thrilled to feel its cool, smooth surface again.  :-)

Saturday, August 12, 2017


On my way for breakfast this morning, I came across several writings on the sidewalks and intersections in my neighbourhood that touched me. 

In a two block area, someone named Flakito poured out his heart to someone named Lucille (a.k.a. Blue, a.k.a. Boo Boo) asking for forgiveness.

Some of the words had letters that seemed to fall off the edge of the sidewalks, one ("Do I still ...") was left unfinished, some were poetic, all were passionate and one was profane. 

Although I don't know the order in which they were written, I have given them an order here. The ones that might not be legible have captions.


I had a rainbow but I was color blind

I miss you Boo Boo (heart)

One Last Chance Lucille - Flakito

Hold your Hand One Last time on this walkway

Do I still

Blue and Flakito through Life

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Rare and Unusual Bird Sightings

This winter has been exciting with several sightings of interesting birds.  Most were sighted in the Ile St-Bernard Nature Park (south of Montreal) and one rarity was found on Mount Royal (smack in the middle of Montreal)!

From what I have read, the Townsend's Solitaire is a western bird which rarely travels east of Manitoba. However it has been found on Mount Royal for a number of years now and I was very lucky to find it recently.  It is an active bird which helped to make it quite obvious to me and I managed a quick shot.

Townsend's Solitaire, Myadestes townsendi

There was great excitement for a few weeks as up to four Great Gray Owls spent some time at Ile St-Bernard.

Great Gray Owl, Strix nebulosa

The following birds were also found at Ile St-Bernard.  This is at the northern part of their range.  Many birds are expanding their ranges northward and will probably become more and more common.

Tufted Titmouse, Baeolophus bicolor

Red-bellied Woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus

Carolina Wren, Thryothorus ludovicianus

Friday, January 13, 2017

Leonard Cohen - revisited

My previous post was illustrated with photographs of Leonard Cohen's house taken on November 25, 2016.  I revisited his house three days later and again on January 6, 2017 and would like to share more photos taken on those two occasions.  As you will see, many more flowers and oranges were left at the house.

Also, I want to mention a wonderful Christmas gift that I received from my thoughtful and generous sister, Diane.  The photograph above is of this gift which is her painting of Cohen superimposed with many of the words of my favourite song of his, "Alexandra Leaving".  

She painstakingly searched for a still image from one of his videos and then took on the arduous and time-consuming process of painting the image and merging it with the text.  I am so touched by the thoughtfulness of this gift and so awed by the final result.

I left a small copy of this painting within a gazebo in the park opposite his house where the tributes have been moved. 


This last photograph is of a tiny, clinging vine on the bricks of his house.  I'm sure there is a metaphor here and were I to have the talent of Leonard Cohen, maybe I could write a poem about it.  Perhaps it would deal with the tenacity and subtle beauty of this little hardy plant as it spreads itself in space and time. I think many of these qualities exist in Cohen's works.